Showing posts with label contemporary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contemporary. Show all posts
March 27, 2014

Review - It Had To Be You

It Had To Be You  
A Christiansen Family novel, book two
By Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale
Pub. Date: January 17, 2014
Pages: 480
Blog Tour:
Buy Link: Paperback


As most of my blog readers already know, I prefer historical romances over most contemporary romances, but I signed up to review It Had To Be You because the cover reminded of the romance book jackets from the 80s. Plus, I'm already fan of Susan May Warren's novels.

It Had To Be You centers on Eden Christiansen, who has put a hold on her dreams to help her younger brother, Owen, get his life on track. She would rather be focusing on her writing career, but she is stuck writing obituaries. Plus, she gets sidetracked every time a family member or friend needs her help. In this case, Owen doesn't even want her help, which makes the whole situation even more stressful for Eden.

Owen is an NHL rookie and if he doesn't get the correct guidance, his life will easily run off course in a hurry. Eden steps in, less like a sister and more like a surrogate mother, when she approaches the hockey star enforcer, Jace Jacobsen, who acts tough on and off the ice. Asking this hothead to help her brother is not going to be harder than what she thought it would be.

March 25, 2014

Review - Wildwood Creek

Wildwood Creek
Moses Lake series, book 4
By Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0764208249
Pages: 384


There are many writers in the Christian market today and, sadly, many of them don't standout of the crowd for me. If I don't recall the author's name, then the book probably didn't leave a lasting effect on me. However, I do recall reading "Never Say Never" by Lisa Wingate when I first started blogging. Though I haven't read very many of her other titles, her name stood out for me when I decided to sign up to review the title, Wildwood Creek, courtesy of Bethany House.

Wildwood Creek centers on two women, Allie Kirkland and Bonnie Rose, from two different times. Allie is a modern day woman who takes a production assistant job on a docudrama set near Moses Lake, Texas. Bonnie Rose is an Irish schoolteacher back in the year 1861.

Allie has been kinda lost. Her still mourns for her late father. Her relationship with her mother, stepfather and her step-siblings is estranged. Her father was a director and she finally has a chance to follow in his footsteps when she takes a job working on a docudrama.

She multitasks by working in the costume department and playing the part of Bonnie Rose. The docudrama is about what happened at Wildwood Creek when the townspeople mysteriously disappeared in 1861. During the production, Allie begins researching the real-life events that occurred in the town, but there is danger just around the corner for her.

November 19, 2013

Review - Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley
By Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: November 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401689681
Pages: 336
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I have to admit that I sometimes, well most the time, make my decision whether or not I'm going to review a book based on the book cover. If it isn't eye-catching, I normally look the other way. For the some odd reason when I received the email invitation to review Dear Mr. Knightley, the book cover image didn't upload correctly, so I scrolled down the email and read the book description. After reading that the main character was a book lover too, I had to review it.

In Dear Mr. Knightley, Samantha Moore (she goes by Sam) grew up an orphan and found herself drawn to the magical world of books written by classic authors, such as Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare. Her love of books leads her to become English major. She quotes from her favorite authors, which become annoying to her friends. At the age twenty-three, an anonymous benefactor going by the name Mr. Knightley offers to pay for her education at Northwest University's Medill School of Journalism. Sounds like a dream come true, but there is one little catch, Sam must write letters to the benefactor, detailing how her schooling is going.

Sam follows through with the letters, which at first they are basic, but since she doesn't know who the benefactor is, she opens up to him and reveals her true emotions. For her entire life she has shied away from the world by hiding behind books. Through these letters she can finally confront her problems and be free of them, maybe even find love.
May 5, 2013

ARC Review - The House That Love Built

The House that Love Built
By Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: April 2, 2013
ISBN: 978-1595548894
Pages: 352
Buy Link:
Blog Tour Link:


I have read several Amish titles by Beth Wiseman, so I became intrigued when I learned about her newest book had a contemporary setting. I eagerly signed up to review The House that Love Built, which I received free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Brooke Holloway has been raising her two children, ten-year-old Spencer and six-year-old Meghan, by herself in Smithville, Texas ever since her husband, Travis, died two years ago. Life has been tough for her and the kids. Her mother briefly moved in to help out after Travis's death, but now she lives at the Oaks Retirement Villa. Despite her mother's advice to start dating, Brooke doesn't want to fall in love as Travis was the love of her life.

After Owen Saunder's bitter divorce, he buys the old Hadley mansion and plans on restoring it, which was his cheating wife's dream and out of spite, it is now his dream. There is a rumor of a hidden bunker somewhere in the house or on the property and the mystery intrigues him. Falling in love was the last thing on his mind that is until he meets Brooke Holloway.
December 5, 2012

Review - Not Quite Dating

Not Quite Dating
By Catherine Bybee
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pub. Date: November 13, 2012
ISBN: 978-1612187143
Pages: 258


Typically, I like my romance reads to be either historical or paranormal, but after I saw that the story was set at Christmastime, I thought I would give it a chance, so I signed up to review Not Quite Dating courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours and Montlake Romance in exchange for my honest review.

Jessie Mann grew up not having much. She works the midnight shift as a waitress, struggling to make a living as she is caring for her son and her younger sister. Her family is the most important thing in her life and she has no time to dwell on a man. That is until Jack Morrison steps into the diner and into her life.

Jack is more than financially stable as he is the heir to the Morrison luxury hotel empire. You would think someone with his money, charms, and good looks would find it easy to find a woman, but he is tired of women wanting him just for his money. Late one night, along with his buddies, Jack goes into the diner and runs into Jessie, whom he is instantly attracted to. Now all that Jessie sees is another Texas with big dreams and she is instantly not attracted to him.

Despite being slightly rejected, Jack befriends Jessie and her family, but he doesn't tell her that his is wealthy. To find out, Jessie really does want to find love, but all the men she meets are never her type. Jack takes it upon himself to help Jessie with her money woes and he eventually plays matchmaker in the hope of finding her the perfect man. But the more time he spends with her, the more he loves everything about her.

October 4, 2012

Review - The Trouble with Cowboys

The Trouble with Cowboys
By Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1595548030
Pub. Date: October 2, 2012
Pages 289
Blog Tour Link:
Buy Link:


The third and final installment of the Big Sky Romance series focuses on the Wilkerson sisters, Annie and Sierra. Annie is a successful columnist writing for Montana Living and she is also a horse trainer for Moose Creek. Their father left them when they were just kids, their mother died later on as well as their grandfather. Annie has spent most of her young life taking care for Sierra. When her sister became pregnant at age sixteen, Annie became more like a mother instead of a sister. Sierra kept the baby boy, completed her GED, and is now attending college. Annie is having financial problems as she tries to pay for Sierra's college tuition.

Annie dislikes cowboys, even though she lives in Montana where she can't throw a rock out a window without hitting a cowboy. Her father was a cowboy and so were the countless loser boyfriends that her late mother had. She doesn't trust cowboys!

May 16, 2012

Review - Wish You Were Here

 Wish You Were Here

AUTHOR: Beth K. Vogt

PUBLISHED BY: Howard Books

ISBN: 978-1-4516-5986-3


PAGES: 328

    You would think Allison Denman would be happy on her wedding day, but she isn’t, she even hates the wedding dress she has on. Just five days before the wedding she had kissed her soon-to-be brother-in-law, Daniel. And before her wedding day could start, she leaves her no-to-be groom waiting at the alter. Kissing David had been her wake up call. She always wanted to be married, but not to be married just for the sake of it.

    Allison is a Christian and she wants to be true to her faith. She believes God has a plan for her and it may just be out of her normal comfort zone.
May 9, 2012

Review & Giveaway - My Stubborn Heart

My Stubborn Heart
BY: Becky Wade
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0974-1
PAGES: 350

Kate Donovan, a thirty-one-year-old redhead, needed a break from her job and all of her bad relationships, so she volunteered to take her seventy-six-year-old grandma, who she calls Gran, to Redbud, Pennsylvania, where she is going to help Gran restore their family home - Chapel Bluff. The old grand house is outdated and needs tons of work. Now, Kate has her hands full, and I’m not referring to the renovation, as Gran has plans to play matchmaker with the handyman Matt Jarreau. Normally, you would think a grandchild would be upset for their grandmother to play matchmaker for them, but after one look at Matt, Kate plans on doing anything to get his attention.

    Matt Jarreau was once a successful hockey player, but after his wife’s passing he has returned to his home town, working as a handyman. The first few days working at the Chapel Bluff, he rejected all Kate’s advances. Slowly, and after a few blind dates set up by Gran, he starts to see Kate as a romantic interest, but his heart still aches for late wife.

February 1, 2012

Review - Shadow in Serenity

Shadow in Serenity
BY: Terri Blackstock
ISBN: 978-0-310-33231-2
Pages: 352
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

I was given a few books by Terri Blackstock a while back by a friend, but I have never had a chance to read them. When I received a request to review the Christian book, Shadow in Serenity, I instantly recognized the author’s name. I eagerly accepted to read it. The book tossed no to my nightstand, with a few others, and with the holiday madness, the book had slipped my mind. After a night of tossing and turning, I flipped on the nightstand light and grabbed Shadow in Serenity. Instantly, I was hooked after reading the first chapter - the  introduction of Logan Brisco, a stylish con artist with a rocky past. Abandoned by his mother, Logan lived in foster homes until meeting a local con artist who took Logan under his wing. After a stint behind bars and a name change, Logan lands in Serenity Texas with the greatest swindle of all.

One by one, Logan is convincing the citizens of Serenity to invest in his great idea - building a theme park in the county. Everyone is hypnotized by his charming self and smooth talking, except for one woman named Carny Sullivan. She has seen her share of liars and cheats in her life, and now she has spotted one more - Logan. With all her power, she is determined to protect her son, family, and friends by exposing Logan’s lies.

Shadow in Serenity is a character driven drama with some romance thrown in it. Despite Logan being a con artist, I could not help feeling sorry for him as I learned more about his past. The heroine, Carny, is smart, strong character who knows when she is being lied to. There are a few dry moments here and there, but the interesting characters, snappy dialogue, and believable plot make up for it. I enjoyed my first read from Terri Blackstock and I look forward to reading more of her books.

About the Author:

Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestseller. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Predator, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the Sun Coast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at

January 4, 2012

"The Keeper" Review and Giveaway!

The Keeper
BY: Suzanne Woods Fisher

ISBN: 978-0-8007-1987-6
Pages: 320
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

         In the first book of the Stoney Ridge Seasons series,  Julia Lapp and her siblings, Menno, Sadie, and Mary Kate (M.K.) are running their family farm because their father, Amos, has a bad heart and can no longer do day to day chores on the farm. Amos is an old school Amish and doesn’t want to have a heart transplant, even though it could save his life.

 Julia has other things on her mind, like marrying Paul Fisher. She has dreamed of being his wife since she was a child, but her wedding plans are constantly being delayed by Paul’s overprotected mother, Edith, who will do anything to stop the wedding.

Running a farm can be difficult, so the Lapp family has their Uncle Hank to help them with the farm. Fern Graber arrives at the farm as a caregiver for Amos. Soon enough the Bee Man arrives. The Bee Man, travels through the Amish communities with his hives of bees and then rents them out to farmers.

Will Julia marry Paul?

Will Amos changes his ways and have a heart transplant?

“The Keeper” is slightly different than the typical Amish fiction, adding witty characters and realism that any reader can connect with. Life is full of twists and turns that challenges your faith as the main character Julia findsout. There is heartache, laughter and wonderful storytelling to be found in “The Keeper”. I recommend the book to all readers.

*I would like to thank the Baker Publishing Company for sending me a copy to review!

About the author:

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. She has many, many Plain relatives living in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and travels back to Pennsylvania, as well as to Ohio, a couple of times each year for research. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life. When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth. 

 Suzanne can be found on-line at:

It’s a “Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher! Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!

September 28, 2011

ARC Review: Once Upon a Groom

Once Upon a Groom
BY: Karen Rose Smith
ISBN: 978-0-373-65628-8
Pages: 224
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

  Zack Decker left his family ranch and his first love, Jenny, to go to film school. It’s now fifteen years later, and Zack is a successful Hollywood director determined to never go back to Miners Bluff. Out of the blue, Jenny Farber leaves a message informing him to attend their high school reunion. The reunion doesn’t go as plan as Jenny’s real intentions was to get Zack to talk to his father, Sila. Zack flies back to L.A., only to get another message from Jenny. This time she tells him that his father has collapsed.

There has been undeniable tension between Zack and his father over the years, but Zack returns to the ranch, the Rocky D, where Jenny works. Actually Jenny is more like a daughter to Sila than anything else. She persuades Zack to stay and help run the ranch until Sila is back on his feet, in which Zack agrees. Soon, their past feelings resurface, along with a secret Jenny has been hiding for fifteen years.

Once Upon a Groom is book two in the Reunion Bride series and is an irresistible read from the very first page. The love story between Zack and Jenny is realistically written. As a reader, you’ll easily connect with both characters as they must confront their past emotions. I recommend Once Upon a Groom to all romance readers.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review. 

May 4, 2011

Book Review - Another Dawn

Another DawnAnother Dawn
BY: Kathryn Cushman
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0825-6
Pages: 316
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Grace Graham, along with her son, Dylan, returns home to Shoal Creek, Tennessee to confront her past, and help her outspoken father after his knee replacement surgery. Grace had somewhat of a falling out with her sister, Jana, after her mother’s death years before. Both want to reconcile. Dylan takes an instant liking to his cousins, especially little Hannah Rose. Grace is planning on returning to California, but Dylan gets a rash and a fever. When he doesn’t get well, she takes him to the doctor, who says he will be fine in a few days. A few days go by, and Dylan is worse. The doctor doesn’t know what exactly is wrong with him, but, suddenly, Grace has an idea what it could be. Dylan has never had his measles shots, and he has exposed the virus to others, including his baby cousin, Hannah Rose.

I’ve read several contemporary Christian novels, and normally the books are romance, so that is what I was thinking when I started reading Another Dawn. I soon realized that this isn’t a romance novel, but a story about redemption and the love between a mother and her son. The book felt intense at times, due to the realization of the plot. It’s scary to think of young parents neglecting to get their children the vaccination shots, but it happens everyday. This is great read and I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. I recommend this book to everyone.

*I would like thank Bethany House for sending me a copy to review.
March 9, 2010

Book Review - Never Say Never

Never Say NeverNever Say Never
BY: Lisa Wingate
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0492-0
Pages: 348
Ages: Adults
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

“Never Say Never” is the third book in the “Daily, Texas” series. Sixty-nine year-old Donetta Bradford and her friends are excited about going on a cruise. Their plans change when a hurricane hits Texas.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kai Miller, with her neighbor’s dogs, climbs into a van heads away from the incoming hurricane. The traffic is crazy and she doesn’t get very far. The hurricane strikes leaving destruction.

Donetta and friends have to cancel their trip and return to their homes in Daily, Texas. She takes in Kai Miller, who has no place to go until the floods go down. Kai has no attention in staying in this small town for long, until she meets Donetta’s nephew, Kemp Eldridge.

I’ve never read any of the other books in the series. “Never Say Never” seems to be a standalone book. I don’t read much contemporary fiction, but I was instantly hooked by the first chapter. I love that the author switches narratives with every other chapter, it kept me turning the pages. I ended up reading the book in one day. This is an irresistible, clean-cut romance novel that you’ll have to read.

Note: I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me this complimentary copy of this book to review.


Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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